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Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?
on Apr 15, 2019 at 8:39:58 am

Great post. I think that's exactly the right approach.

An ad agency head once told me: "There's no such thing as a bad idea". While it might not be literally true, it's a very good mindset to have.

It's always worth giving ideas the space they might need to come alive and prove their worth. We all think we know a bad idea when we see one, and often we are right in our snap judgment. But sometimes is pays to allow ourselves to be wrong - a "bad idea" might be a great idea that we didn't instinctively recognise as such.

Ideas don't necessarily come fully formed. It's how you implement them that often determines whether they work or not. So it's best to try and implement them in good faith.

I have to say that quite a few editors find it hard to implement in good faith notes that they instinctively disagree with. But we don't always honestly interrogate the reasons for our instinctive rejection of them. For example, are we unconsciously rejecting the note because we know that it will be awkward or tricky to implement? The hardest thing for us to do is to "kill our babies" and if a note threatens to break something we have fallen in love with then it's a lot harder to run with it.

And yes, there are good ways of suggesting an idea ... and bad ways. The more experienced you are, the more you understand this. The less experienced you are, the more likely you are to be dictatorial, and that's not a helpful way to collaborate. In fact, the person "dictatorially" giving a note can kill their own idea by not allowing the room for it to breathe - if you give the editor latitude to make it work, then it stands a much better chance than if you dictate the parameters too specifically.

Simon Ubsdell


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